Does Arkansas have a problem hiring female coaches? It's become apparent that Jimmy Dykes is becoming the poster boy for the "underqualified male coach hired instead of female" conversation. It's not an invalid point. It is unfortunate that Dykes is going to have to continue addressing this - at least until he proves himself worthy on the court. It's worth wondering, if Dykes is not successful, how will Jeff Long's and Arkansas' reputations be impacted in the women's athletics community?
In this SI.com story, Long tries to explain that he intended to hire a female coach initially, but it wasn't as easy as he'd hoped:
"We had a priority to find a woman coach for women's basketball, but we didn't get the kind of pool of candidates we wanted. So I have frustrations on my side as well," Long says. "For whatever reason, we haven't been able to attract a higher quality of female applicants for jobs at Arkansas."
"We also need more women who coach women's basketball advocating for their assistants. I'll be candid and say I didn't have that in my search."
Interesting comment, to say the least.
The story cites a recent study that declares Arkansas as one of the worst major athletic departments in the nation in terms of hiring female head coaches. The Razorbacks' number is actually worse now than it was in the study because of the recent departure of Rene Lyst from the gymnastics team. As of right now, Arkansas only has one female head coach in the entire department.
I'm on record as saying I thought the Dykes hire was a risk but it made sense for Arkansas. And as with any coaching search, we don't know for certain who all was interested in the job and who Long considered, so it's impossible to say he directly ignored or didn't consider anybody. This is an interesting topic, though.
Payment plan created for football season tickets: In a clear sign that season tickets are selling like Hogcakes, UA has created a payment plan system to make it easier to purchase ticket packages for football. You can now break it up into two or three monthly payments. Tickets start at $300 per person for the six Fayetteville games. Because to see Alabama, LSU, and Ole Miss, you gots to pay to see Nicholls State, UAB, and Northern Illinois (unless you go secondary market).
We talk Hog football with the LSU site: And The Valley Shook reached out to us for 5 questions on the Razorbacks. It's pretty standard offseason preview stuff, but I do get a chance to explain why Hog fans should be optimistic.
Kane Webb joins Sporting Life Arkansas: Here's his first column describing each SEC football program as horse racing types. Do you have Belmont fever?
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